8 Steps to Cleaning Baseboard Heaters

Many people take for granted their baseboard heaters. As long as they’re working, there’s no need to worry about them, right? 

The reality is, however, if you don’t clean these heaters out at least once a year, they can get clogged with dust, pet hair, dirt, debris, and even your own hair, making them work less efficiently and potentially becoming a fire hazard. 

If you’ve never cleaned out the baseboard heaters around your home, now’s the time. While the task may seem daunting, it’s actually not that hard. Just follow the steps below to ensure this equipment continues to work well for many years to come. 

Clean Baseboard Heaters the Right Way

There’s more to a baseboard heater than meets the eye. Once you remove the cover, you’ll see what we mean. Grab your vacuum, a pair of needle-nose pliers, a pressure steam cleaner (if you have one), and a damp cloth and let’s get started!

Step 1. 

Turn off the power to the heater and allow it to cool completely before proceeding. 

Step 2. 

Take the cover off the heater. Be careful not to bend or break it. 

Step 3. 

Inspect the inside of the unit and remove any visible debris you see. 

Step 4. 

Using a soft bristle brush attachment, vacuum the inside of the unit thoroughly. 

Step 5. 

If you have a pressure steam cleaner, use it now to clean the fins. Be sure to lay towels down underneath the heater to protect the floor underneath from water damage. 

Step 6. 

If you notice that any fins are bent, grab your needle nose pliers and gently straighten them. 

Step 7. 

Wipe the heater cover down and then put it back on. Use the damp cloth to wipe the exterior of the heater as well. 

Step 8.

Check your baseboard heaters periodically to ensure airflow isn’t impeded by anything. Keep window coverings, carpeting, toys, furniture, etc. away from the heaters to allow air to circulate freely. 

Baseboard heaters are one of those things many homeowners take for granted but ignoring them completely could result in poor performance – or worse – a fire hazard. It’s important you make cleaning your baseboard heaters part of your regular routine maintenance schedule. 

Don’t worry. While the task may look intimidating, it’s really not. Just follow the 8-step guide above to clean your baseboard heaters the right way so they can continue to do their job for a long, long time.